Tuesday, July 11, 2017

My trip to Bangladesh + photos

Hello everyone and welcome to another travel related post!

Today I want to talk to you about my trip to Bangladesh in April this year!



Why the hell did you go to Bangladesh?

Well, this trip didn't have the purpose of a 100% leisure trip. It was rather a research trip. Kind of. I will tell you more about that point later on. So around three years ago I met my friend Shahreen from Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh on Facebook. At first we wanted to be snail mail penpals but since my letters never arrived at her home, we changed into being messenger friends, haha. We shared the same hobbies and she told me there were no lolitas in Bangladesh so I began to feel the wish to visit her. There are also anime conventions in Dhaka but sadly I couldn't visit one during my stay.


Me and Shahreen ♥


While thinking about visiting her and starting to research about the country, I had to think about a topic for my Bachelor thesis as well. Back than it was still over a year to go until I had to hand in my topic suggestion but I didn't want to decide that last minute. One thing lead to another and I finally decided on the topic "Tourism as a chance for third world countrys - Bangladesh as an example". I'm studying tourism management and this is a really interesting topic. From that point on I started planning my trip. Leisure and work in one! 
And I didn't get disappointed. Not at all!



At Gulshan Lake Park ♥




So, what did you plan?

I decided on the duration of the stay, decided on the arrival and departure date and after Shahreen told me that her mom agreed, I booked my flights. I've chosen Emirates because it was the least expensive airline and more over I'm a huge fan of them, so I knew everything would be okay. :D
I was going to Bangladesh from the 4th April (arrival on the 5th) until the 16th April (arrival at home on the 17th). I was lucky enough to stay at Shahreen's family's house and could use her room for the time of my stay. I'm so thankful for that because they also provided me a lot of delicious food!

I also researched about museums, monuments or other places of interest I want to visit in Dhaka. There were some helpful blogs online which gave important information. 
I also had to apply for a visa which cost me around 90€ in advance, but the stamp in my passport was worth it. :D






In the streets of Dhaka pt. 1


Food example :D


How was your stay? 

I had a lot of fun and I've seen so many interesting things! But the most awesome thing was the atmosphere and the friendly people. I will talk about that more in the next blog post!
We visited a lot of places of interest together, I also went to Shahreen's university twice including the nearby shopping center and I participated in a private tour when she was too busy at university.






In the streets of Dhaka pt. 2


The guide was the owner of Speed Holidays and we went to Sonargaon, the old capital of Bangladesh which is around 1 hr away by car. There was an interesting museum and a group of school kids who found me more interesting than the museum. :D For lunch we went back to Dhaka and had some food at a local restaurant in the old part of the city. There we also visited the Pink Palace Ashan Manzil and a Star Mosque (where I haven't had to cover my hair!)


A street in Old Dhaka


Food in Old Dhaka


Sadarghad, the bay area where the fishermen arrive


Lalbagh Fort


On my last weekend there, there was the Bangla New Year where I attended two parties which were totally different from Western New Year parties. Instead of celebrating midnight, the celebrated in the morning by playing music, singing and giving food to the guests. At one party I got a pretty henna tattoo but it disappeared after a week. :(






Bengali New Year with Shahreen's mom


My Bengali New Year Look ♥



But did you ever feel in danger or unsafe?

Not at all! There was police everywhere and people never got close to me. Everyone threaded me with respect and no one touched me without permission. Okay, the girls who took selfies with me touched or hugged me, but only the girls. No boy or man touched me at all! 
Of course people were interested and tried talking to me but always in a respectful way. 
The only dangerous thing was the traffic which is really really chaotic in Dhaka. So you have to be careful if you're crossing a street.





In the streets of Dhaka pt. 3


Would you go there again?

Yes. Yes. Yes! There's so much to see and I'm really considering going back for like 3 weeks to see all the other parts of this beautiful country. Maybe in 2019! Who knows?

Star Mosque

In front of the museum of Sonargaon

In front of Ashan Manzil


Back to your research, how did it go and what did they tell you?

I really hoped to get some information about the tourists there (nationality, how many etc.) but this was nearly impossible. There's a tourism board but the responsible guy I met at a Tourism Fair in Berlin didn't reply my e-mails about a scheduled meeting and also their website doesn't show any information on that topic. The figures are outdated so I couldn't use them for my Bachelor thesis. The UNWTO released some figures so I had to use them. First hand information would have been cooler nevertheless. What I noticed is, that there are rarely tourists. Maybe a few group tours every few months, some backpackers but that's it. Although Bangladesh is such a pretty country! But not well-known enough like Laos, India or Malaysia. People shouldn't be afraid to go there but still, the touristic infrastructure isn't that great. Which is also an advantage! There's a shop called Aarong which sells local handmade goods like bags, cloths, decoration or stationary. The products aren't mass produced but still cheap compared to Western standards. Tourists would love this shop! 
What I want to say is, that Bangladesh is really authentic. People don't "act traditional" just to please tourists. You get to know the real life with all its positive and negative features. 
I don't want to go into detail here since it's gonna be pretty complicated but tourism could help people there if it's done right. Support the locals by buying at their markets and small shops, by sleeping in their guesthouses and by simple supporting the locals. It's easier said than done, I know.






Would you visit Bangladesh?

My next post will be "10 reasons why I enjoyed visiting Bangladesh" where I'll go more into details about the places I've been to and the people I met!
I hope you're looking forward to it! ♥


I got upgraded into business class on my way home from Dhaka to Dubai!


Bye for now!
Yours,
Kanon. ♥


An old mosque in Sonargaon

A small shop in Sonargaon

We visited a local family, on the right guide Messbaul


P.S.: I also went shopping! Cloths are pretty cheap at the local bazars, so I got some nice dresses. I also saw some cloths of brands which are actually sold in the Western world. Also "brand" cloths. Not everything which says brand, is produced fair!


4 comments:

  1. Oh wow this is amazing! Such a great opportunity, glad you had so much fun. Hope you get to go back soon!

    Jessica & James | www.foodandbaker.co.uk / www.foodandbakertravels.co.uk

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  2. I'm so glad you have a good time in Bangladesh with your friend, and it was really nice of her to introduce you to her culture. I hope your thesis goes well!

    Lizzie Bee // hello lizzie bee

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  3. This has given me such a bad case of wanderlust!

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  4. This looks like SUCH a lovely trip and great that you got to stay with your friend (and save some money on hotels too!) I honestly never think about visiting Bangladesh which is a shame because your trip sounded wonderful so hopefully posts like these will encourage people to think about the "not so obvious" places to go! xx

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